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Laban: Community Partnership Fund announcement

Laban: Community Partnership Fund announcement

Announcement of successful applicants to the Community Partnership Fund, which is part of the Labour-led Government's Digital Strategy.

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Talofa lava [Samoa]. Malo e lelei [Tonga]. Fakalofa lahi atu [Niuen] Ni sa bula vinaka [Fiji]. Namaste [Fiji Indian]. Kia orana [Cook Islands]. Ia Orana [Tahiti]. Gud de tru olgeta [Papua New Guinea - Melanesian] Taloha ni [Tokelau], Talofa [Tuvalu] Kia ora tatou [NZ Maori]. Warm Pacific greetings to you all.

New Zealand's history shows that we, like our Pacific neighbours, were once masters of navigation of Te Moana-nui-a-kiwa, the sea that links the Pacific and beyond - now we need to develop and navigate the seas of communication. We live in a time of rapid unparalleled technological change - today's world is global, it's digital and it's here.

The digital strategy is about unlocking our potential to achieve New Zealand's economic, social and cultural aspirations. It focuses on content - information we can access that can enrich the quality of our lives, confidence - the skills to use ICT in a secure environment in which to do this, and connection - getting access to and using ICT.

Countries that place a high value on education and learning are without a doubt at an advantage in reaping benefits from ICT initiatives. There is a hunger within our communities for this knowledge and a desire to capitalise on ICT opportunities.

As Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, I am responsible for the Community Partnership Fund, which is part of the Labour-led Government's Digital Strategy.

The Digital Strategy isn't just about technology - it is about people and their ability to connect to the things that matter to them, such as their culture, history, and identity.

The Government, through the Community Partnership Fund, is providing $20.7 million seed funding over four years to partly fund initiatives through partnerships that will improve communities capability and skills to use ICT and develop digital content. This fund, administered by the Department of Internal Affairs, will look to innovative and collaborative ventures that will unlock the potential of our communities.

I am delighted to announce that 55 innovative and exciting projects to the Fund have been successful. Many of the projects will bring communities together or link geographically dispersed communities of interest through ICT.

Content projects include - digitising Mäori stories, local histories, information about local arts, theatre, music, environment, health and social care and support.

Confidence projects include - targeted training in ICT, and projects addressing safety concerns around young people's use of ICT.

Connection projects include - connecting people in underserved communities through ICT centres and online forums.

Projects were approved from most regions across the country, and over half of the projects extend to more than one region.

I would like to congratulate SOUNZ on their successful application.

SOUNZ holds the largest, most accessible collection in the world of music by, and information about New Zealand composers, including works by Douglas Lilburn and Gillian Whitehead.

The 'SOUNZ Online' project aims to deliver online access to services about New Zealand music, including information about New Zealand composers, performers, events, digitised scores, audio, video, publications and reviews.

The Australian Music Centre is a partner, and will contribute their expertise in developing the software system and database.

The project will also gather, create and digitise new content working in partnership with the Composers Association of New Zealand. New Zealand composers will provide their work in a format, which can be easily digitised for the project.

This Labour-led Government encourages the increased use of ICT - in fact we see the expanded use of digital technologies as vital to our economic transformation agenda.

Digital literacy is now an essential life skill, akin to reading and writing, and the potential for our communities to realise their potential through ICT is inclusive, dynamic and exciting.

Here in New Zealand I am very keen to promote and showcase innovative ICT projects - to show that within New Zealand we have healthy IT appetites and the potential for us to be leaders in community ICT projects. We can find our feet in the ICT world, enjoy our achievements, and create content that is distinctively Kiwi as part of this world.

I look forward to seeing the fruits of the projects announced today, and I am sure that they will strengthen and better connect our communities across all the whole of New Zealand.

Thank you


ENDS

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